It took a second half penalty from Messi to spare Argentina's blushes and secure them the stalemate, whereas Almiron was effervescent and set up Paraguay's goal with a stunning solo run down the left hand side of the pitch.
While Messi's men are bottom of Group B, a win over Qatar in the final group game could give them a ticket to the quarter-finals.
The 2019 Copa America isn't going much better for Argentina than the 2018 World Cup, with a slow defense and a lack of playmakers in the middle of the park keeping the Albiceleste from making a real difference in the tournament.
"It would be insane if we can't advance from the group stage, when basically three teams advance from each group".
"We are lucky to be alive", said Lionel Scaloni, the inexperienced Argentina coach who has been heavily criticized back home for his choices in the first two games. "I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team", he said when he announced his abortive retirement in 2016.
An opening 2-0 defeat by Colombia was followed by Messi equalising with a penalty to rescue a draw against Paraguay.
Messi'sArgentina find themselves with it all to do after picking up just a point after their first two matches against Colombia and Paraguay. As well as the top two in each of the three groups, the best two third-placed finishers qualify.
Argentina, beaten in their first match against Colombia, started the game with City's Nicolas Otamendi in defence and Sergio Aguero on the bench. Messi, in his fifth Copa America, played on the right flank, with Giovani Lo Celso and Leandro Paredes taking over the playmaking responsibilities at midfield.
He said in comments reported by ESPN: "Our first half was not good, we played with desperation at times and we couldn't control the play or create attacks".
"These are the games you see now, and we have to forget this clash and look to our meeting against Argentina".
"I could have continued playing but the coach made a decision to take me off".
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